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From the editor: Farming showcased as the countryside's beating heart

Farming has always been about more than just business; it is about people and the communities they belong to.



Farming has always been about more than business
Farming has always been about more than business

Farming has always been about more than just business; it is about people and the communities they belong to.

 

This week’s Royal Welsh Show has been a prime example of that. Stand in the shearing shed on the showground the night before the show, as hundreds gather to watch Welsh choirs raise the roof, and you realise that community and a shared sense of cultural identity are at core of the event.

 

The Royal Welsh is a cultural gathering which brings together the social strands of the farming community in unprecedented form and highlights, on a large scale, the dedication and commitment which make shows across the country tick.

 

It should also be the kind of place where politicians, such as Defra Secretary Michael Gove, see for themselves that while cheap soundbites about ’green Brexit’ might be the stuff of good headlines for the national press, they have the ability to cause greater confusion for farmers on the ground.

 

The overriding feeling coming out of the event at Builth was clarity was missing on what Brexit meant for Welsh farmers, whether this was in relation to trade deals, transition periods or support cash.

 

To highlight the challenge many farmers face in planning for their businesses, several people made the point that a calf born now will be sold in a post-Brexit era, thus laying bare the shifting economic landscape many face.

 

What the Royal Welsh also showed, however, is that scores of the next generation of farmers are obsessed with agriculture and want their chance to shine in the industry.

 

The Royal Welsh, with its huge YFC presence, always showcases that endeavour, but it is present at every show you go to around the UK.

 

All farmers want now, whether they are young or old, is just the merest sense of where things are heading with Brexit in order to plan ahead. If not, farmers, their families and wider rural communities will be left in limbo.

 

And finally

Countryfile Live, which takes place at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, on August 3-6, is this year showcasing Farmers Guardian’s 24 Hours in Farming social media extravaganza, which is due to take place on August 10. For more information go to countryfilelive.com

 

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